Lots of information and links in this OregonLive article:
Jails to limit inmate mail to postcards only, by Bill Oram, The Oregonian, December 29, 2009
Excerpt: ‘… “The quality of the letters are so touching because they’re looking to establish relationships with anyone who will listen to them,” said Boghosian, the executive director of the New York-based National Lawyer’s Guild, which publishes the Jailhouse Lawyers Handbook.
Boghosian, and other civil rights advocates, are concerned about a policy that 12 Oregon counties, including Washington and Clackamas, will implement next month restricting inmates’ outgoing social mail to postcards. By spring, incoming mail will also be limited to postcards.
Washington and Clackamas county officials paint the move to envelope-free mail as a cost-cutting measure that will make jail operations more efficient. Incoming mail will not have to be opened, and postcards will make it more difficult for contraband to be smuggled into the jail, Washington County Jail Cmdr. Marie Tyler said.
Inmates will be able to buy each 5-by-8-and-a-half-inch postcard, with postage included, for 55 cents. The rule will only apply to personal mail. Official correspondence, such as letters to and from lawyers and job information, can still be sent in envelopes….’ (link to full article)